Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Media Literacy Mandatory in Ontario Schools

I have no idea when this happened and I can't find anything that states a date online, but the cbc had a segment on it this morning. It's about time. I have always believed that you can't protect kids from advertising and media but rather you need to educate the hell out of them to help them discern for themselves when they are being marketed to. I had bumped into Debbie Gordon's website a number of years ago when I was looking for some materials for my daughter and it sounds like her business is now booming. She is an ex-packaged goods marketer who does media literacy training. She says that this type of training should be the fourth R and I completely agree with her.

Interestingly, she's even added something about the "news" to her sessions:

"In addition to kid culture and advertising, we've added a session to help kids sort through what's journalism, what's hype and what's hysteria."

When kids start to learn the differences between stated vs. implied claims in classrooms at the age of 7 (yes that's AGE not GRADE), you gotta know that our media world has somehow shifted.

In celebration of media literacy for kids, here are some key concepts taken from the website of the Association of Media Literacy

1. All media are constructions
2. Each person interprets messages differently
3. The media have commercial interests
4. The media contain ideological and value messages
5. Each medium has its own language, style, techniques, codes, conventions, and aesthetics
6. The media have commercial implications
7. The media have social and political implications
8. Form and content are closely related in the media


Mark said...

It just happened this year, actually, thanks to lots of effort from the AML (and specifically its founder, Barry Duncan), and the Media Education Working Group at OISE.

Leigh said...

I am surprised at how little media attention this has gotten. This could have a profound impact on our media landscape and I am sure Ontario will just be the first place of many.

Send congratulations to both Barry and OISE on a job well done!

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